Tag: equity

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On January 21 President Joe Biden released the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. In this document, he calls for a collaborative effort in which “federal government works with states, cities, Tribal communities, and private industry to increase supply and administer testing and the vaccines that will help reopen schools and businesses safely.” He continues to promise that “Equity will also be central to our strategy”. He acknowledges the great challenge but says he believes “that a true national strategy will take all of us working together.” Biden links collaboration with gender and racial equity, and his […] Read More

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What can we learn from the Covid 19 pandemic about the housing crisis, urban resilience, and the importance of community? “If we learned anything during this pandemic it is that humanity is deeply intertwined. We thrive together and we fall ill together. The pandemic has also exposed the inequities in our society. It is unacceptable that the communities that kept our city working – frontline and essential workers – also suffer the most and received the least support.” I wanted to share my 15-minute video in which I discuss this issue and propose creating affordable micro-homes in the vacant floors of Manhattan luxury condominiums. I’d love […] Read More

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Each event will feature two inspiring women working in architecture and each will speak to a different focus – from starting your own practice, to finding the right type of practice for you, to balancing the profession and family life. In these conversations, we will share stories, share tools, provide support and establish relationships among all attendees with the goal of ensuring young women in architecture stay encouraged and stay on course to thrive in the profession. Read More

Originally published on Archinect “At the end of February, a surprising decision by a state judge revoked the approval for the top 20 floors of 200 Amsterdam Avenue, a market-rate, luxury, residential building on the Upper West Side in New York.  “The developers amassed air rights, using a zoning loophole to create a 39-sided lot. While the city clarified that these zoning lots will no longer be allowed, it nevertheless sided with the developer to challenge this ruling. Despite the zoning gerrymandering that went into the design and approval of the 52-story building, few would have imagined that after receiving the required […] Read More

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"Here is my provocative proposal. Instead of removing the upper floors of 200 Amsterdam, we should convert part of the building into affordable housing. Let the developer keep the top floors, which include two large duplex penthouses priced at over $40 million dollars apiece. In return, let the city or a nonprofit reclaim the bottom 20 floors for low- and middle-income families." Read More

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Published: Yale Paprika In this interview, Miriam Dreiblatt speaks with founder of Studio ST Architects Esther Sperber on the challenges of designing religious spaces that promote serenity and connection while maintaining a high level of security. Sperber aims to design sacred spaces that foster a sense of community and belonging while being mindful of prayers and their individual spiritual needs. Sperber further discusses the impact of the concern and need for increased safety measures in synagogue architecture. These measures culturally informed and therefore take different forms, ranging from gates and police cars surrounding the site to hidden cameras and security […] Read More

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I was delighted to host two groups of students who participated in the Barnard Young Women Leadership Institute. They asked about architecture, being a women business owner, and all the other challenges and joys of professional life.

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Originally published in Ms. Magazine “I am sitting on the carpeted floor in our local Barnes & Noble and looking through Ivanka Trump’s new book, Women Who Work. (I can’t bring myself to buy it.) Trump tells us that her book is a “manual for architecting the life you want to live,” and she uses architectural metaphors throughout the book—urging women to “plot a plan for success” so that “your life’s blueprint reflects your foundational values.” “As an architect, I love the way architectural terms quietly sneak into everyday language. Perhaps because dwelling and shelter are among the most primal of human […] Read More

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Originally published on Huffington Post “I alone can fix this” Trump promised during the 2016 Republican convention, but his first 100 days may have taught him that governing is a collaborative project and even a president cannot fix things alone. “Trump joins a long western tradition that idealizes the genius who works alone in business, science and art. Architects have embraced this Romantic archetype of the lone, most likely male, creator. But on May 20th the Pritzker Prize, which is considered the highest award in architecture, will be given for the first time to a team of three architects, Rafael […] Read More

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Esther Sperber was a featured panelist at EQxD Hackathon 2017, a workshop that explores the intersection of technology, design, and equitable practice. She spoke about entrepreneurship and architectural opportunities in the new and changing digital economy. View the full conference website here. Read More

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Published: The Huffington Post In this animated video Op-Ed, Esther Sperber shares her thoughts on how architecture can solve problems, namely the transgender bathroom wars. The idea came about as a response to the passing of House Bill 2 in North Carolina, which effectively banned those who identify as transgender from using public restrooms that were labeled for use by a specific gender. Her proposal is to change the way bathrooms are labeled. Instead of being distinguished by gender, bathrooms should be labeled by size. Not only would this be more appropriate for those who don’t identify as either male […] Read More

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Originally published in Lilith Magazine “I was sitting at my office desk, Thursday morning, March 31, multitasking as usual; checking my email, drafting plans for my sister’s apartment renovation in Tel Aviv, logging data into my bookkeeping software, and (I confess) checking Facebook once in a while. I scrolled through the feed of vacation photos, op eds and political comedy when I suddenly caught my breath – Zaha Hadid had died of a heart attack, age 65. “I’ve been thinking about Hadid’s death since its startling appearance in my Facebook feed. Had you asked me on Wednesday who my architectural […] Read More

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Esther Sperber participated in University of Massachusetts Amherst’s lecture series in the spring of 2014. She spoke about Studio ST’s work over the past 10 years, focusing on the design and collaboration process of the firm’s work. Read More

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Published: Lilith Magazine Studio ST Architects’ Kesher Synagogue design project was featured in the article “Jews, Women, Architects. At The Same Time,” published in Lilith Magazine. Much of the design inspiration for Kesher Synagogue came from founding architect Esther Sperber’s Jewish heritage. Sperber used the community’s name, which means connection or knot, as well as the Talmud, to guide her design of the space. The new sanctuary is conceptualized as continuous space accessible by all, with a flexible configuration that can mold to a variety of different layouts in order to accommodate for various programs of different sizes and formats. […] Read More

Originally Published: Lilith Magazine “After months of architectural design, bidding, negotiations and city approvals, we finally entered the site for our first weekly construction meeting. The general contractor had started the demolition, and I was excited to see the bare space, its walls and other distractions removed, and to imagine the place as we’d designed it. Richard and I entered the apartment for the meeting. Raymond, our general contractor, was late, but the new site manager was waiting for us. When he noticed us, he walked over to Richard, a graying man of around 60, shook his hand and introduced […] Read More